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A comparison between diuretics and angiotensin-receptor blocker agents in patients with stage I hypertension (PREVER-treatment trial): study protocol for a randomized double-blind controlled trial

, 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 5 , 6 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 15 , 16 , 17 , 18 , 19 , 20 , 21 , 22 , 22 , 23 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 24


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      Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Brazil, and hypertension is its major risk factor. The benefit of its drug treatment to prevent major cardiovascular events was consistently demonstrated. Angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARB) have been the preferential drugs in the management of hypertension worldwide, despite the absence of any consistent evidence of advantage over older agents, and the concern that they may be associated with lower renal protection and risk for cancer. Diuretics are as efficacious as other agents, are well tolerated, have longer duration of action and low cost, but have been scarcely compared with ARBs. A study comparing diuretic and ARB is therefore warranted.


      This is a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial, comparing the association of chlorthalidone and amiloride with losartan as first drug option in patients aged 30 to 70 years, with stage I hypertension. The primary outcomes will be variation of blood pressure by time, adverse events and development or worsening of microalbuminuria and of left ventricular hypertrophy in the EKG. The secondary outcomes will be fatal or non-fatal cardiovascular events: myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure, evidence of new subclinical atherosclerosis and sudden death. The study will last 18 months. The sample size will be of 1200 participants for group in order to confer enough power to test for all primary outcomes. The project was approved by the Ethics committee of each participating institution.


      The putative pleiotropic effects of ARB agents, particularly renal protection, have been disputed, and they have been scarcely compared with diuretics in large clinical trials, despite that they have been at least as efficacious as newer agents in managing hypertension. Even if the null hypothesis is not rejected, the information will be useful for health care policy to treat hypertension in Brazil.

      Clinical trials registration number NCT00971165

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      Most cited references 13

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      Use of blood pressure lowering drugs in the prevention of cardiovascular disease: meta-analysis of 147 randomised trials in the context of expectations from prospective epidemiological studies

       M R Law,  J K Morris,  N Wald (2009)
      Objectives To determine the quantitative efficacy of different classes of blood pressure lowering drugs in preventing coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, and who should receive treatment. Design Meta-analysis. Data source Medline (1966-2007). Study selection Randomised trials of blood pressure lowering drugs recording CHD events and strokes. 108 trials studied differences in blood pressure between study drug and placebo (or control group not receiving the study drug) (“blood pressure difference trials”), and 46 trials compared drugs (“drug comparison trials”). Seven trials with three randomised groups fell into both categories. The results were interpreted in the context of those expected from the largest published meta-analysis of cohort studies, totalling 958 000 people. Participants 464 000 people defined into three mutually exclusive categories: participants with no history of vascular disease, a history of CHD, or a history of stroke. Results In the blood pressure difference trials β blockers had a special effect over and above that due to blood pressure reduction in preventing recurrent CHD events in people with a history of CHD: risk reduction 29% (95% confidence interval 22% to 34%) compared with 15% (11% to 19%) in trials of other drugs. The extra effect was limited to a few years after myocardial infarction, with a risk reduction of 31% compared with 13% in people with CHD with no recent infarct (P=0.04). In the other blood pressure difference trials (excluding CHD events in trials of β blockers in people with CHD), there was a 22% reduction in CHD events (17% to 27%) and a 41% (33% to 48%) reduction in stroke for a blood pressure reduction of 10 mm Hg systolic or 5 mm Hg diastolic, similar to the reductions of 25% (CHD) and 36% (stroke) expected for the same difference in blood pressure from the cohort study meta-analysis, indicating that the benefit is explained by blood pressure reduction itself. The five main classes of blood pressure lowering drugs (thiazides, β blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, and calcium channel blockers) were similarly effective (within a few percentage points) in preventing CHD events and strokes, with the exception that calcium channel blockers had a greater preventive effect on stroke (relative risk 0.92, 95% confidence interval 0.85 to 0.98). The percentage reductions in CHD events and stroke were similar in people with and without cardiovascular disease and regardless of blood pressure before treatment (down to 110 mm Hg systolic and 70 mm Hg diastolic). Combining our results with those from two other studies (the meta-analyses of blood pressure cohort studies and of trials determining the blood pressure lowering effects of drugs according to dose) showed that in people aged 60-69 with a diastolic blood pressure before treatment of 90 mm Hg, three drugs at half standard dose in combination reduced the risk of CHD by an estimated 46% and of stroke by 62%; one drug at standard dose had about half this effect. The present meta-analysis also showed that drugs other than calcium channel blockers (with the exception of non-cardioselective β blockers) reduced the incidence of heart failure by 24% (19% to 28%) and calcium channel blockers by 19% (6% to 31%). Conclusions With the exception of the extra protective effect of β blockers given shortly after a myocardial infarction and the minor additional effect of calcium channel blockers in preventing stroke, all the classes of blood pressure lowering drugs have a similar effect in reducing CHD events and stroke for a given reduction in blood pressure so excluding material pleiotropic effects. The proportional reduction in cardiovascular disease events was the same or similar regardless of pretreatment blood pressure and the presence or absence of existing cardiovascular disease. Guidelines on the use of blood pressure lowering drugs can be simplified so that drugs are offered to people with all levels of blood pressure. Our results indicate the importance of lowering blood pressure in everyone over a certain age, rather than measuring it in everyone and treating it in some.
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        Telmisartan, ramipril, or both in patients at high risk for vascular events.

        In patients who have vascular disease or high-risk diabetes without heart failure, angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors reduce mortality and morbidity from cardiovascular causes, but the role of angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) in such patients is unknown. We compared the ACE inhibitor ramipril, the ARB telmisartan, and the combination of the two drugs in patients with vascular disease or high-risk diabetes. After a 3-week, single-blind run-in period, patients underwent double-blind randomization, with 8576 assigned to receive 10 mg of ramipril per day, 8542 assigned to receive 80 mg of telmisartan per day, and 8502 assigned to receive both drugs (combination therapy). The primary composite outcome was death from cardiovascular causes, myocardial infarction, stroke, or hospitalization for heart failure. Mean blood pressure was lower in both the telmisartan group (a 0.9/0.6 mm Hg greater reduction) and the combination-therapy group (a 2.4/1.4 mm Hg greater reduction) than in the ramipril group. At a median follow-up of 56 months, the primary outcome had occurred in 1412 patients in the ramipril group (16.5%), as compared with 1423 patients in the telmisartan group (16.7%; relative risk, 1.01; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.94 to 1.09). As compared with the ramipril group, the telmisartan group had lower rates of cough (1.1% vs. 4.2%, P<0.001) and angioedema (0.1% vs. 0.3%, P=0.01) and a higher rate of hypotensive symptoms (2.6% vs. 1.7%, P<0.001); the rate of syncope was the same in the two groups (0.2%). In the combination-therapy group, the primary outcome occurred in 1386 patients (16.3%; relative risk, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.92 to 1.07); as compared with the ramipril group, there was an increased risk of hypotensive symptoms (4.8% vs. 1.7%, P<0.001), syncope (0.3% vs. 0.2%, P=0.03), and renal dysfunction (13.5% vs. 10.2%, P<0.001). Telmisartan was equivalent to ramipril in patients with vascular disease or high-risk diabetes and was associated with less angioedema. The combination of the two drugs was associated with more adverse events without an increase in benefit. ( number, NCT00153101 [].). Copyright 2008 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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          Major outcomes in high-risk hypertensive patients randomized to angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or calcium channel blocker vs diuretic: The Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT).

          Antihypertensive therapy is well established to reduce hypertension-related morbidity and mortality, but the optimal first-step therapy is unknown. To determine whether treatment with a calcium channel blocker or an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor lowers the incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) or other cardiovascular disease (CVD) events vs treatment with a diuretic. The Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT), a randomized, double-blind, active-controlled clinical trial conducted from February 1994 through March 2002. A total of 33 357 participants aged 55 years or older with hypertension and at least 1 other CHD risk factor from 623 North American centers. Participants were randomly assigned to receive chlorthalidone, 12.5 to 25 mg/d (n = 15 255); amlodipine, 2.5 to 10 mg/d (n = 9048); or lisinopril, 10 to 40 mg/d (n = 9054) for planned follow-up of approximately 4 to 8 years. The primary outcome was combined fatal CHD or nonfatal myocardial infarction, analyzed by intent-to-treat. Secondary outcomes were all-cause mortality, stroke, combined CHD (primary outcome, coronary revascularization, or angina with hospitalization), and combined CVD (combined CHD, stroke, treated angina without hospitalization, heart failure [HF], and peripheral arterial disease). Mean follow-up was 4.9 years. The primary outcome occurred in 2956 participants, with no difference between treatments. Compared with chlorthalidone (6-year rate, 11.5%), the relative risks (RRs) were 0.98 (95% CI, 0.90-1.07) for amlodipine (6-year rate, 11.3%) and 0.99 (95% CI, 0.91-1.08) for lisinopril (6-year rate, 11.4%). Likewise, all-cause mortality did not differ between groups. Five-year systolic blood pressures were significantly higher in the amlodipine (0.8 mm Hg, P =.03) and lisinopril (2 mm Hg, P<.001) groups compared with chlorthalidone, and 5-year diastolic blood pressure was significantly lower with amlodipine (0.8 mm Hg, P<.001). For amlodipine vs chlorthalidone, secondary outcomes were similar except for a higher 6-year rate of HF with amlodipine (10.2% vs 7.7%; RR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.25-1.52). For lisinopril vs chlorthalidone, lisinopril had higher 6-year rates of combined CVD (33.3% vs 30.9%; RR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.05-1.16); stroke (6.3% vs 5.6%; RR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.02-1.30); and HF (8.7% vs 7.7%; RR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.07-1.31). Thiazide-type diuretics are superior in preventing 1 or more major forms of CVD and are less expensive. They should be preferred for first-step antihypertensive therapy.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil
            [2 ]Hospital Universitário Antônio Pedro, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Brazil
            [3 ]Hospital São Lucas, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil
            [4 ]Hospital das Clinicas, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
            [5 ]Instituto do Coração, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
            [6 ]Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto - Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
            [7 ]Faculdade de Medicina São José do Rio Preto, São José do Rio Preto, Brazil
            [8 ]Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil
            [9 ]Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
            [10 ]Faculdade de Medicina de Botucatu, Universidade Estadual de São Paulo, Botucatu, Brazil
            [11 ]Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
            [12 ]Hospital das Clínicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
            [13 ]Hospital das Clínicas de Goiânia, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, Brazil
            [14 ]Anis Rassi Hospital, Goiânia, Brazil
            [15 ]Hospital Universitário Júlio Muller, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Cuiabá, Brazil
            [16 ]Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Ciências da Saúde Alagoas, Maceió, Brazil
            [17 ]Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil
            [18 ]Instituto de Medicina Integral Prof Fernando Figueira, Recife, Brazil
            [19 ]Hospital Universitário Oswaldo Cruz/PROCAPE, Universidade de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil
            [20 ]Hospital Universitário Valter Cantídio, Universidade Federal do Ceará, Fortaleza, Brazil
            [21 ]Hospital Universitário, Universidade Federal Maranhão, São Luiz, Brazil
            [22 ]Instituto de Cardiologia, Fundação Universitária de Cardiologia, Porto Alegre, Brazil
            [23 ]Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil
            [24 ]Hospital do Coração, São Paulo, Brazil
            BioMed Central
            24 February 2011
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            Copyright ©2011 Fuchs et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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